THE Monmouthshire hamlet of Pandy boasts not one, but two racehorse trainers, writes Jim Beavis.

David Evans has the bigger stable and is better known, but it was the small yard of Nikki Evans that tasted a very welcome success at Ludlow on Sunday. Takbeer was their first winner for ten months, and no doubt all the sweeter because of that. Although he was returned at 25/1, the Daily Star’s racing correspondent Patrick Weaver had tipped him, in the hope that he could reproduce the form he showed at Newbury in July. He made all that day to win in a fast time, and at Ludlow he was back on his favoured good ground.

Making his hurdling debut, Takbeer shot off in front and established a long lead. The other jockeys thought he’d gone off too fast, but his rider Robert Williams knew better and the opposition was never nearer than the five lengths he had in hand at the finish.

Williams, a conditional who can do under ten stone and rides mainly for Evans and Bernard Llewellyn, is another who found winners hard to come by last season.

After such a long famine, it was a strange quirk of fate that the yard could feast on another winner the very next day. Sue Be It, partnered by Brian Hughes, ran on with great determination to prevail in a four-horse battle up the punishing Towcester hill on Monday evening.

She’s one of half a dozen or more horses owned by Hanford’s Chemists of Llansamlet near Swansea. Her victory at 14/1 with a top jockey on board was just what the doctor ordered.

Both of these Nikki Evans-trained winners beat odds-on favourites into second place.

Her best horse is Late Shipment, who won three times at Hereford in the first quarter of 2017. He was then raised a further four pounds by the handicapper for finishing second at Warwick. Six runs later he is still above his last winning mark, but has shown enough to suggest he can go in again when conditions are right.

Although there were no winners for David Evans in the last week, his Sea Fox was a highly creditable third of 27 in the Victoria Cup at Ascot on Friday. The Racing Post’s analysis said “he never quite looked like winning”, but connections must have thought otherwise as he was up with the leaders all the way and was only a neck and the same behind Ripp Orf. That one was Hayley Turner’s second winner of the year after serving a three month ban for betting.

At Newton Abbot last week Global Thrill won his fifth race for Bernard Llewellyn, gamely holding off a host of challengers in the final furlong.

Chepstow, who were racing yesterday, have announced the appointment of their new clerk of the course. Libby O’Flaherty, currently clerk of the course at Worcester and Hereford, will take over on 4 June from Keith Ottesen, who is moving to Newbury.

Phil Bell, executive director of Chepstow, said: “We are really pleased to welcome Libby to the team. She has done a fantastic job at Worcester and Hereford in the last couple of years.

"We’d also like to thank Keith Ottesen for his years at Chepstow and wish him all the best for the future.”

Their next fixture is on Tuesday afternoon.